Gono tells his audience what he thinks they want to hear


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Central bank governor Gideon Gono tends to tell his audience what he thinks they want to hear.

This was the view of United States ambassador to Zimbabwe Joseph Sullivan after Gono told him that he wanted to expand his advisory council to 29 to include representatives of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions.

The ZCTU, however, said it had no intention of joining forces with Gono or the government unless the government lifted prohibitive legislation regarding the holding of meetings, freedom of association, denial of bail, and press registration.

The labour movement had given the government the same reasons as conditions for it to rejoin the tripartite negotiations with government and business.

The embassy thought by bringing in labour, Gono was probably trying to create his own tripartite negotiating forum and increase his power and position within the government.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 04HARARE865, Tripartite National Forum Falters

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

04HARARE865

2004-05-24 10:10

2011-08-30 01:44

UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

Embassy Harare

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS HARARE 000865

 

SIPDIS

 

SENSITIVE

 

STATE FOR AF/S

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JFRAZER

USDOC FOR AMANDA HILLIGAS

PASS USTR FLORIZELLE LISER

STATE PASS USAID FOR MARJORIE COPSON

USDOL FOR ROBERT YOUNG

STATE FOR MARINDA HARPOLE

 

E. O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: ELAB PHUM ETRD ECON EINV PGOV ZI ZCTU

SUBJECT: Tripartite National Forum Falters

 

Ref: A) Harare 00831

 

1.   (SBU) Summary: Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions

(ZCTU) refuses to restart Tripartite National Forum (TNF)

talks due to GOZ’s prior bad faith negotiation. ZCTU also

refuses to join Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono’s

advisory panel for the same reasons. End Summary

 

—————————-

Tripartite National Forum

—————————-

 

2. (SBU) TNF offers a venue for government, labor, and

employers to discuss the country’s economic situation as

equals. ZCTU General Secretary Wellington Chibebe claims

that GOZ’s unilateral 300% fuel price hike before TNF

discussions on the issue were concluded demonstrated bad

faith. GOZ then announced that ZCTU backed the fuel hike.

 

3.   (SBU) ZCTU believes GOZ uses TNF talks to implement

already formulated policies. The Employers Confederation

of Zimbabwe (EMCOZ), which represents employers at TNF

negotiations, understands ZCTU reluctance to re-join

negotiations but they have agreed to participate.

 

4.   (SBU) ZCTU places conditions on re-starting talks,

including the lifting of prohibitive legislation

regarding the holding of meetings, freedom of

association, denial of bail, and press registration.

 

————————–

Gono’s Own Private TNF?

————————–

 

5.   (SBU) Gono told Ambassador Sullivan he will expand

his advisory council to 29 members, including

representatives from ZCTU and others in civil society. He

claimed ZCTU agreed to join. However, the Solidarity

Center local representative states that ZCTU places the

same pre-conditions (See paragraph 4) on joining this

panel. ZCTU will issue a critique of Gono’s policies.

 

6.   (SBU) Interestingly, in conversations with EMCOZ

and the International Labor Organization (ILO), no one

brought up Gono’s panel expansion despite being prompted

to do so. This suggests Gono has not advertised his plans

too widely. He may be trying to create his own TNF and

increase his power and position within GOZ.

 

—————-

Comment

—————-

 

7.   (SBU) ZCTU’s principled decision against both

rejoining TNF discussion and sitting on Gono’s advisory

panel avoids a GOZ trap. As the fuel saga demonstrates,

GOZ negotiates only with an eye for its own gain.

 

8.   (SBU) EMCOZ agreed to the TNF negotiations (but

made no mention of Gono’s panel at all) due to their

warmer relations with GOZ and fears that a refusal would

sour those relations. In addition, EMCOZ members gain

much more if they can influence GOZ thinking on issues

like price controls and removing the Z$824-US$1 official

exchange rate. ZCTU members benefit from such decisions

only through a trickle-down theory, if at all.

 

9. (SBU) Gono’s miscalculation of ZCTU’s willingness to

join his advisory panel may simply represent a mistaken

belief. However, it may also indicate that the Reserve

Bank Governor tends to tell his audience what he thinks

they want to hear.

 

Sullivan

 

(35 VIEWS)

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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